The Evolution of Terminology

Posted on by wordqueens

WQ Cindy’s storytime…

Once upon a time, long ago and far, far away when I worked in Corporate, there was a term called “constructive criticism” that was used by would-be leaders (who were called managers, yet that’s another subject) for attempting to bring attention to certain behaviors they wanted changed.  Personally, I never found anything constructive about criticism and found that the command/control model of this attempt to alter behavior to be less than effective.

As time went on and I jumped into the world of coaching, it became more effective to “neutralize” the concept of bringing to awareness certain behaviors/actions by using the word “feedback”.  That was easier for me to grasp.  Feedback is simply feedback based on what one does or doesn’t do.  If I don’t put gas into my car, I’ll stall on the side of the road.  Using the saying my daughter loathes when it passes my lips, “All actions have consequences”; it’s simply a concept of feedback.

Today a genius new term has come to my attention.  John Hope Bryant’s Quote of the Day on his website:  “It is useful not to offer advise [sic], as wise men don’t need it and fools don’t listen. I would prefer to offer an observation, a recommendation, or loving counsel.”

Loving counsel!  As a WordQueen and “wordie” (similar in concept to “foodie”), trained in distinctions as both a coach and a salesperson, I found this evolution in terminology from “constructive criticism” to “feedback” to “loving counsel” to be valuable.

The intent of the message will be relayed and received by the intent of the messenger – even if the intent is subconscious on both ends. Yes, you can read that again.  Be careful of not only your words, but also the intent behind your message in order to elicit the response you seek.

The next time you consider offering advice to someone for whatever reason, ask yourself, “Am I choosing to be critical, neutral or loving?”  Universal Law and moral of the story:  You Get What You Give.

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